Penn State Harrisburg to host smart-home symposium on future of aging, Apr. 14

Smart home graphic with cell phone pointing at a house
Credit: Adobe Stock

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg’s Smart Home Research Initiative (SHRI) will host a virtual symposium titled “The Future of Aging: Smart Home Technology, Healthcare, Research and Practice” from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14.

The symposium will bring together public and private entities that share interests in advancing innovations that improve the quality of life for older adults and individuals with disabilities. The program includes several guest speakers, research presentations and a panel discussion. Breakout rooms will give participants an active role in discussing symposium topics.

Pennsylvania’s aging population is growing rapidly, and alternatives to support options for people to stay in their homes longer will reduce the pressure on facilities that cater to older and disabled adults. Research in the topic of “aging in place” positions Penn State to advance innovations and apply smart-technology research to help older adults and individuals with disabilities maintain or improve their heath and quality of life, as well as to help make homes and buildings more accessible and sustainable.

Smart-home research promises to allow more older and disabled adults to stay in their homes by creating electronic sensors and interactive devices that help caregivers, family members and the homeowners to better remotely monitor the health and status of these adults. It also investigates expanded options for home health care, energy sustainability and resident quality of life through optimizing technological solutions.

Brian Jones, principal research engineer and director of the Aware Home Research Initiative at Georgia Tech will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Click here for the full schedule.

The agenda includes:

  • 11:15-11:20 a.m. — Welcome and Program Overview — Ray Bachnak, SHRI director
  • 11:20-11:30 a.m. — Opening Remarks — Omid Ansary, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and Administration, Penn State Harrisburg
  • 11:30-noon — Keynote Speaker — Brian Jones, principal research engineer and director of the Aware Home Research Initiative, Georgia Tech, “The Aware Home Research Initiative:  Past, Present, and Future — Adapting to Changing Needs”
  • Noon-12:50 p.m. — Smart Home Technology and Health Systems Research Presentations — Moderator:  Tyler Richardson, assistant professor of kinesiology

    • Presentations include:
    • Analysis and Improvement of Smart Home Management Systems — Truong Tran, assistant professor of computer science
    • Solar Tracking System — Marko Abdo, electrical engineering student
    • Development of Built-in Antimicrobial Materials for Implants and Biodevices — Ola Rashwan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
  • 1-1:50 p.m. — Smart Home Technology and Health Systems Panel — Moderator: Dan Ding, vice chair for research, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
    • Panelists include:
    • Susan Tachau, chief innovation officer, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, Smart Home Technology: Expanding Independence and Health for Seniors and People with Disabilities
    • Justin Wolgemuth, senior vice president of operations, Masonic Village – Smart Home Technology for Remote Health Monitoring
    • Alex Louderback, founder/CEO, Ambient Home-Challenges in Implementing Smart Home Technology in Senior Spaces